What does it take to be a “Top Shot?”

Posted by Peter Bunnell on January 03, 2013 0 Comments

What does it take to become a “Top Shot” on History Channel’s hit program? If a $100,000 prize isn’t alluring enough, many contestants desire bragging rights to the title of “Top Shot.” Additional winnings include a contract with Bass Pro Shops.

Now in its fourth season, this popular show highlights a wide range of shooting talents. The competitors face grueling challenges that are based on real-life battle-style scenarios. For example, one week they may find themselves rapidly rappelling down the sides of buildings, navigating narrow back alleys or aiming at moving targets from a war-style motorcycle sidecar. Mixed with a little James Bond spy-style, this show even highlights 1,500-yard shots – requiring the utmost accuracy.

These physically demanding exercises help test contestants master weapons from different eras, including cannons, grenade launchers, Browning machine guns and bullpup rifles. This reality television show also challenges contests’ abilities using handguns, rifles, pistols, crossbows, bows, knives and hatchets. This is not simply the top firearm shot, but the absolute Top Shot.

The first half of the game typically involves dividing 16 to 18 contestants into two groups. These team challenges usually offer two different shooting contests. Once contestants are introduced to the challenge’s weapon, they are given a practice opportunity. The final challenge always features an unexpected twist, such as shooting at moving targets. The losing team must then decide who is their weakest team member. The losing group then assembles for a special challenge, where the losing team shoots at targets, essentially a way of voting. The two players that receive the highest number of shots, or votes, are then entered into a two-person elimination challenge. The final elimination challenge, similar in style to the team challenges, introduces the two players to their weapons, giving them necessary training ahead of time. The final challenge gives the two players the ability to compete individually. The winner will return to his/her team and the losing shot is sent home.

When approximately eight players remain in the game, the teams merge into one and from this point forward, all challenges are elimination-based, meaning the worst shot is sent home.

Once the competition is narrowed down to three people, the Penultimate Challenge begins, allowing each remaining player to set up shots with specific weapons based on distance and target type, all the while using strategies to sway their opponents; after all, the goal is to create an obstacle “course” that will ultimately defeat the opposition. The final challenge offers multi-station courses, typically using weapons that have already been used throughout the competitions. The first player that successfully completes all stations and obstacles is declared “Top Shot.”

Jumping Targets promotes gun safety and offers an assortment of high-quality AR500 steel targets, specifically designed to withstand the test of time. These U.S. designed steel shooting targets jump with every shot, ensuring maximum practice time for shooters. 

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